PARIS — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a shock go to to Paris for talks Sunday night time with French President Emmanuel Macron, extending a multi-stop European tour that has elicited contemporary pledges of navy assist as his nation gears up for a counteroffensive in opposition to Russian occupation forces.
In a tweet on his arrival, Zelenskyy stated: “With each visit, Ukraine’s defense and offensive capabilities are expanding. The ties with Europe are getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is growing.”
He stated he and Macron “will talk through the most important points of bilateral relations.” The French chief’s workplace stated they’ll focus on Ukraine’s navy and humanitarian wants and “the more long-term perspectives for a return to peace in Europe,” and that Macron will “reaffirm France and Europe’s unwavering support” for Ukraine in its struggle in opposition to the Russian invasion.
France has equipped Ukraine with an array of weaponry, embrace air-defense programs, gentle tanks, howitzers and different arms and tools and gasoline. Macron and Zelenskyy didn’t converse to ready reporters as they greeted one another on the French presidential palace.
France dispatched a airplane to select up Zelenskyy in Germany, the place he met Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier Sunday and mentioned his nation’s deliberate counteroffensive. Zelenskyy stated it can purpose to liberate Russian-occupied areas inside Ukraine’s internationally acknowledged borders, and never assault Russian territory.
The Washington Post cited beforehand undisclosed paperwork from a trove of U.S. intelligence leaks suggesting that Zelenskyy has thought of attempting to seize areas in Russia correct for attainable use as bargaining chips in peace negotiations to finish the battle launched by Moscow in February 2022. This would put him at odds with Western governments which have insisted that weapons they supply should not be used to assault targets in Russia.
Asked in regards to the report, Zelenskyy stated: “We don’t attack Russian territory, we liberate our own legitimate territory.”
“We have neither the time nor the strength (to attack Russia),” he stated, in response to an official interpreter. “And we also don’t have weapons to spare, with which we could do this.”
“We are preparing a counterattack for the illegally occupied areas based on our constitutionally defined legitimate borders, which are recognized internationally,” Zelenskyy stated.
Among the areas nonetheless occupied by Russia are the Crimean peninsula and elements of japanese Ukraine with primarily Russian-speaking populations.
The Ukrainian president is visiting allies seeking additional arms to assist his nation fend off the Russian invasion, and funds to rebuild what’s been destroyed by greater than a 12 months of devastating battle.
A Luftwaffe jet flew Zelenskyy to the German capital from Rome, the place he had met Saturday with Pope Francis and Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni.
It was his first go to to Berlin for the reason that begin of the battle and got here a day after the German authorities introduced a brand new bundle of navy help for Ukraine price greater than $3 billion, together with tanks, anti-aircraft programs and ammunition.
Zelenskyy thanked Scholz for Germany’s political, monetary and navy assist, saying the nation is now second solely behind the United States in offering help to Ukraine — and joked that he’s working to make it the most important donor.
“German air defense systems, artillery, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are saving Ukrainian lives and bringing us closer to victory. Germany is a reliable ally! Together we are bringing peace closer!” he wrote on Twitter after the assembly.
“We will support you for as long as necessary,” Scholz stated, including that it’s as much as Russia to finish the battle by withdrawing its troops.
Zelenskyy stated one purpose for his newest go to to allied capitals was to forge a “fighter jet coalition” that would supply Ukraine with the fight planes it must counter Russia’s air dominance.
Germany has stated up to now that it doesn’t have the F-16 jets Ukraine wants and Scholz responded to questions on attainable airplane deliveries by referring to the anti-aircraft system it has supplied to Kyiv.
“That’s what we as Germany are now concentrating on,” he stated.
In Ukraine, officers on Sunday denied that the nation had something to do with the downing of two Russian helicopters near the border the day earlier than.